Guest page

Mick Hobday - The Ancient Sites Researcher with an Unusual Mission

Mick Hobday – the travelling film producer
                I grew up on the south coast of England, then when I was 16 years old I moved to London to attend college, before moving up to central England to study and earn a degree in Genetics from Nottingham University. My up bringing was pretty mainstream and my opinions about the world were very much scientific based, but at this stage in my life I had already realised that I didn’t like monotony and found variety to be the spice of life. So when faced with the prospect of joining the “real world”, I instead decided to work for a year, saved up some money and in 2002 jumped on a plane to Alaska.
                I was diagnosed with diabetes when I was 9 years old so coping with that whilst travelling added some spice to my new travel lifestyle, which already gave me so many interesting experiences, exactly what I needed to quench my thirst for excitement and the reason I have been travelling ever since. I worked along the way, examples include working as a courier in New York, a holiday rep in France or a dive master in Honduras, and so that I could travel for as long as possible I generally travelled on a budget. During the first decade I travelled for 2604 days, (that's 71.3% of the 10 years) with an expenditure of £14.13 per travel day and I definitely did not miss out.
                I’ve seen the Sahara, huge salt flats, numerous jungles, walked on glaciers, taken boats down the Amazon, the Nile and the Mekong, and I’ve also cycled over 13,500 miles through 22 European countries. I’ve modelled in a fashion show, been interviewed on Peruvian radio, searched for UFOs in the desert, flown over the Nazca Lines, been to a music festival in the Sahara and I was almost kidnapped by Al-Qaeda. I’ve slept in a Mosque, in a barn, up mountains, in the desert and outside Venice with 200 dogs. I’ve hang-glided over Rio, Hot-air ballooned over the Valley of the Kings, white water rafted in Ecuador and Swaziland and para-glided in Argentina. I’ve walked with Komodo dragons and bears, I’ve dived with sharks, manta rays, seahorses, dolphins and I’ve ridden camels, an ostrich and an elephant. So travelling on a budget didn't hold me back, in fact I think it gave me a more genuine experience because the people I interacted with were generally interested in me rather than the contents of my wallet.
                To add some humour to my quest I decided (while on a beach in Mexico) to make my aim in life 'to eat a bowl of cornflakes in every country in the world' and I was encouraged as when I told people my idea it made them smile ad laugh. I also thought it would make my mission unique in the entire cosmos, plus there was always the chance Kelloggs would eventually pay for my travels. So I became the Corn Flake Traveller and so far I have managed to eat those crunchy flakes of corn in 83 different countries around the world.
                On a more serious note, during the last 15 years I have been drawn to ancient sites, attracted to them because they simply fascinate me. I’ve visited the majority of the famous sites such as the Angkor complex, Machu Pichu, Petra, Tikal, Chichen Itza, the Pyramids in Egypt and Stonehenge, to name just a few. I have also visited many sites that are not so well known, and the more I visited these lesser known sites the stronger my fascination became, followed closely by my desire to film and share them with the world.
                I formed the Modern Explorers with a good friend of mine from my days living in New York, as well as some other friends I met while excavating at the potential pyramids in Bosnia. I started to learn how to make films, how to record footage and edit, and I learnt a lot about researching, planning the trips, camerawork, presenting on camera and all the post-production. Most of the valuable lessons came from making mistakes so you can see how our film making skills have progressed over the years, every project we got better and better in terms of skills and equipment, and the same goes for the websites.
                Over the years (but particularly the last 5) I have gradually become convinced that the majority of the sites I visit are the remains of a global civilisation that existed before the last ice age and this has in essence guided me into becoming a researcher of megalithic sites. There are literally hundreds of thousands of megalithic ruins spread across the planet (megalithic meaning they are made from huge stones) and there are a large number that have been destroyed or are yet to be discovered. To give you an idea, in France alone there are something like 10,000 megalithic sites and in North and South Korea combined there are 30-35,000 dolmen. There is also huge variety in the types of site found; free-standing temples or temples carved in the side of mountains, pyramids, underground cities, stone circles, dolmen, menhirs, stone spheres, long barrows, cart-ruts, statues, and structures that are combinations of different types. Click to check out a summary of the evidence that has convinced me, you will find plenty of links so you can do further research yourself -
                Travelling has not only allowed me to see different parts of our planet but also steered me out of the system that we are all born into. I have a growing list of experiences that have opened my eyes to the possibility that our reality is far more complicated than the mainstream suggests and despite coming from a science background I am convinced that (“so called”) paranormal phenomena are legitimate, and convinced that there is a higher intelligence pulling the strings. I continually researches the political world and the structure of society, ancient structures left behind on the planet and more esoteric topics such as past lives, holographic universe theories or beings that don’t exist in our dimension etc etc
                In 2013 I self-published a book and wrote a series of articles for the United Networker Magazine, I have been written about in various newspapers, countless blogs and websites, I have been interviewed on radio stations in Ireland, Holland, Dubai, the U.S.A and England, and I even appeared on TV in Australia. People seem to like my story and my dedication to eating a bowl of Corn Flakes in every country in the world, oh and now additionally, film as many megaliths as I can while I do it.
Take a look at my websites for more - Corn Flake Mission or The Modern Explorers

The Carnac Film by Mick Hobday.




A new guest post by Steve Mugglestone...Insight into my journey



My journey in this lifetime has led me to a sacred path. From a more ordinary world, or an ordinary perspective of the world, to life and adventures as a sorcerer.
I am able to communicate between the veils and in different realms of reality. I have awakened, become aware of life in ways previously beyond my comprehension.
The path has been exhausting, challenging, wonderful, intriguing in fact absolutely fascinating and I realise these things.
I am as awake as I am aware
I am as wise as I am found
I am that I am and for I am I in you
I have learnt that we are connected to a web of life, and I’m not just talking the Internet. I have learnt that all life is recorded by what some call the Akashic records or God, prime creator, universal mind.
Around 10 years in and out of deep meditation within the grounds of an old monastery and surrounding woods sat against a yew tree, is where I learned to listen, with little or no expectation visions arrived from out of this world and my connection to source had awakened.
Now I am a medical intuitive, people who require healing, whilst in their presence I usually feel and see their conditions even to the point if it’s an internal situation, I’m aware without x-rays, how fascinating?
To learn that these realities are not just possible but real, is a huge privilege and I feel obliged to try and share, help and guide people to an awareness so they too are in the knowing.
I am able at times to see through the veils where we go as we return to our body of light. Whilst giving readings people in the spirit realm arrive to me, as a mediator I facilitate in bridging the space between heaven and earth. Other names for heaven are the summer lands or the elision fields.
I’ve only ever seen the people who have moved on in a valley, fields, with flowers and meadows, looked beautiful to me.
Strangely I didn’t see millions of people, just the ones relevant to the enquiry of the person I am reading for. How wonderful?
For years I would have a video show going across ways within my mind, showing me people’s past, present and future whilst giving readings. Nowadays its by direct voice as well as visions that help and allow me to validate the passing of information.
No clairvoyant can prove there is a spirit realm, why? Because the only way is through direct experience which I now have tens of thousands and far too many to discuss. By giving specific validation though, I hope it brings comfort, closure, intrigue and opens doors. Once someone has received very specific information, personal information through a genuine clairvoyant then it would be an insult to their own intelligence to say that the clairvoyant guessed. So this is why it opens doors, it allows people to question reality.
Consciousness is a vast subject, and learning the rhythms, mechanics of nature I have become aware I am nature.
I’ve learnt all my minds are magical but tricky. Minds can create something purposeful or something as destructive as nuclear bombs and chemical warfare.
How do we protect as well as embrace such an instrument?
We return to our hearts which are the wisdom keepers, this world has become very clever, but are the people wise?
Our hearts, whilst living within our hearts we would share the lands, the seas and the astral world. So it’s a call to be merciful and be aware that when we live within our hearts it is the most sacred protection against negativity and destructive behaviour.
No one living within their hearts will consider making a nuclear bomb or anything of that nature to harm another.
To line up to these realities and live within the heart is a personal responsibility, one where you have to become self-owned, not selfish, but self-owned. One where your own sovereignty is respected and from asking one of the greatest questions of all time
“who am I”? becomes an onward journey of awakening.
Loathe do I watch those that hold virtue sustained by power, for the lands the seas the heavens are owned by man, and papers worth is absent within the purity of need. You see we are at a time where huge changes are necessary, so life is sustainable we have to heal the Earth’s pain. The Earth is a living entity and part of us. When we damage it, in essence we damage ourselves. We are the air, water and the elements so when we poison and pollute, we are destroying ourselves to degrees’ science has yet to understand!
So really we are all in one canoe, travelling through space as soul time travellers we are multidimensional beings and the time is upon us to awaken our hearts and let them guide us and the children of this world to a peaceful and loving expression as a collective consciousness.





Two new and interesting guest posts
The importance of music by RadioRay
The importance of art by Richard Crookes



The importance of Music

How important is music ?
     Music is a very important medium. Within the boundaries of art and beyond them too, music stretches across the gulf of imagination and feeds the mind with energy. A pattern of organized notes of sound can stir the emotions, calm them or fuel them up. Music can cause great visions in the mind. It is strongly connected to all forms of artistic expression and is one of the greatest communication outreaches that humanity possesses. A perfect marriage to the medium of poetry or Art and can exist with or without these connections. Music can be used as a vessel in which to bring wisdom and teachings of every form to make these teachings more palatable. Music sings its own song too ...... All the music in the world is connected, every song is part of a bigger symphony. Music can be described using mathematics for it is deeply rooted in division. It would be fair to say music is the song of Math yet Math is only the label of musical pattern. It is used in therapy to help children or adults focus ...... It is used as a medicine in many ways and also becomes a focal point of mass gatherings in cultural integration. Music is perhaps the most important and most powerful of all mediums. It has survived throughout the history of mankind and is an extension of our spirituality, a bloom of our existence that echo's the very first beat of the heart at the beginning of time. There are darker musings of music too, It can be used to manipulate people and it can be used for monetary gain. Music or sound can smash glass, melt flesh, sonic waves can destroy or change the matter or behavior most things. Music in its highest form can bring hope, can save people from depression, it certainly adds a kind of colour to our lives especially when it is married with animation, or other visual art forms. Some people know nothing of the workings of music and others are becoming masters of it....... Mostly we take it for granted and seldom do we appreciate all of its splendor, for the medium is so vast that even with math, we cannot sum up the full capacity of music. Music is not a human possession but rather a vessel in which we can commune with and rest upon as we float off through the streams of imagination Music can be a vessel for satirical power which can destroy a persons reputation. Music can be the sound of a stream. Music can be the planets and the workings  of the universe. Music is a boat for thought to sail within and music can be the sea on which the boat travels. Music can be used to manipulate whole societies along with fashion or propaganda, films, etc .... Some people consider music to be a matter of life or death. A world without music would be like losing the sixth sense. To make music is an equal joy to listening to it and the rewards are nourishing. Music can make the hardships of life seem bearable and music can captivate the most sublime amongst us.... Calm a babies cries. The list seems infinite. Music can be fused into many forms and grafted onto other mediums Music is the putty of Artists. One of the crowns of human kind, full of bright sparkling gems. Music is important and music is whatever you need it to be ! Music flows alongside and within our lives and may it lead us to a better understanding of each other.

RadioRay 2015

The importance of art?.... Hmm
A friend posted something on facebook about art this week:-
'When times are hard, art is a luxury'...discuss. This was in the context of art lessons being cut from the school curriculum due to financial constraints I found out later.
I replied that art is indeed a luxury and added that it is one available to us all. That ruffled a few feathers at first, I think, from one or two who considered it essential. Personally I don't put it up there with being healthy, having clean water and a safe environment. I've had a life in art and I might add a very lucky one, but I don't think anybody is going to die without art. Let's not be precious about it - it all washes away in the sea of time.
All that might sound that I don't care about art, but I obviously do or I wouldn't have been doing it all my life. So what was my point?
Art is a luxury... it is a beautiful, probably uniquely human and fabulously therapeutic activity. It is a luxurious way of spending your time when you are not simply surviving. It is one of the greatest luxuries, and it is completely free.
Art does not belong to privileged people. There is no good and bad art. Art is yours. Art is love.
Richard Crookes




What is Permaculture? 

Guest blog by Jennifer Albanese

Photo by Susanna Frohman


Jennifer has been an organic gardening student and practitioner for over 14 years and a permaculture practitioner for 12. She has a special interest in soil and it's role in regenerating ecosystem health. Jennifer and her husband, Cliff Davis, co-own Spiral Ridge Permaculture, an educational, off-grid homestead, and New Agrarian Design, an ecological design firm. She lives in middle Tennessee with Cliff and their three children.


What is Permaculture?
By Jennifer Albanese
Permaculture is simultaneously a buzz word and something that many people have never heard of. It is misunderstood and misrepresented. However it is a term and a practice that everyone should be familiar our future is uncertain and Permaculture is one of the keys to regenerating land and culture. It is a way for us to face the issues that haunt us.

So what is permaculture?

Permaculture is an ecological design science. The original concept of permaculture was created by two Australians, Dave Holmgren and Bill Mollison and originally meant “permanent agriculture,” but became “permanent culture” because it was applicable on a broader scale. I believe permaculture is more than a science...but we will get to that later. First, letʼs explore the design approach.

The Problem is The Solution

Permaculture asks the questions; What do we need, as humans, and how can we have our needs met while caring for the planet as a whole? Is there a way to live more harmoniously with the natural world and use technology appropriately? How can health and healing be maintained and regenerated on our landscapes, in our societies and in nature? How can our communities and food systems have more resilience when catastrophe strikes? How can we increase production, conserve energy and and have more sound economics? As permaculturalists, we try to answer these questions in ways that are practical and can be applied, not just theorized about. To do this we maintain a solution focused mindset, implement and test our ideas and receive feedback, from the system, so we may improve on the design. We are very aware of the problems, climatic, political, social, and economic, and we actively seek to find positive solutions and share them with others.

Permaculture is a Science with Ethics at itʼs Core

Thatʼs what sets it apart. Permaculture seeks to design systems, be they farms, homesteads, cities, social structures, businesses or financial systems, in a way that is holistic, which is how ecosystems function.
Everything is connected, in a web, and those connections, those relationships, are what make nature so resilient and abundant. The natural world gives us the ideas and the inspiration to create systems that mimic it. To be sure our created systems meet this goal, they have to meet the core ethics of permaculture: earth care, people care and fair share.

Earth Care

A permaculture designer must consider the planet, after all, it is the source of our sustenance. We build soil, rather than deplete it. We conserve resources. We recycle everything; water through the landscape, nutrients from the garden, waste from our households, energy from the sun, currency through our local communities. People like to term this “living sustainably.” Sustaining our level of consumption and our irresponsible degradation of the planet will not bode well for it. We have to go beyond sustainability and initiate regenerative processes. Nature knows how to find balance on her own. There is decay and there is rebirth, it is all regenerative. However, the type of decay and destruction that humans have wrought, takes much longer to heal. We can help speed up the recovery process through good design. We are all part of the Earth, each animal, plant, river and person. Permaculture recognizes the intrinsic value of each. The next two ethics could also be grouped under earth care, but we often distinguish them to insist their importance as well.

People Care

How do we care for others? First we have to care for ourselves. If we wish to cultivate peace in the external word it begins internally. We can extend out our care to ever widening circles, our family, our neighbors and our broader communities. We have to assume responsibility for the part we play. Is it contributing to the greater good? Permaculture is about empowering people to take positive action, be responsible, cultivate loving relationships and become more self-reliant. Interdependence in key, though.
Interdependence is about connection and relationship, which is what creates the web we need for optimal functioning and resilience. Many often confuse self-reliance and self-sufficiency. Self-reliance means taking care of more of your own needs, which could mean, growing much of your food, not being hooked up to a central electric system, etc. Self-sufficiency means not requiring any aid, support or interaction. With self-reliance we have more interdependence, share resources, barter, and otherwise build strength in community. Trying to be completely self-sufficient is rarely doable and does not contribute as much to the greater good, it is more self serving.

Fair Share

The ethic of fair share has two parts, seemingly contradictory. First, share and celebrate the abundance of the earth. Everyone has a right to clean water, good food, shelter, clothing and a decent standard of living. How much food do we let rot, because it cannot be sold at market prices? Why are large companies privatizing our fresh water supplies? In many starving countries, it is not lack of food that is the issue, it is politics that keep these people from thriving. These issues need to be addressed. People claim there is not enough, but it is simply not true. We need to stop hoarding. We need to stop suppression. Everyone has the right to live well but we currently have an unequal distribution of even the most basic resources needed to survive.
The second aspect of the Fair Share ethic is about accepting natureʼs limits. We need to recognize that some resources are limited and not easily renewed. Insatiable hunger and lack of respect for these resources could be our downfall. We cannot continue to mine the earth for oil, gas, precious gems and metals. There is only so much of these resources, yet we continue to build our empires on them. Our dependance on them is steadily increasing, while the supply is steadily decreasing. This is not a regenerative practice, nor is it sustainable. We each need to take responsibility for our consumption and our contribution to resource depletion.

So, how is Earth both abundant and scarce? Ask yourself, what resources can be renewed, given freely and help regenerate and which should be conserved and further the destruction of the planet? Expand your thinking to non-tangible resources, like goodwill, love, hate, and greed. Each action we take has a domino effect, we help shape our future with each breath.

But, isnʼt it a bunch of liberal hippy types?

Yes, of course there is a large contingent of environmental, hippy types...Permaculture serves their cause, but you will find just as many practitioners that are not this way. Conservative Christians, Muslims, Atheists, and people of all colors and cultures have studied Permaculture and are putting itʼs principles, techniques and tools to work. These core ethics are not unique to Permaculture. They can be found in most religions, indigenous spirituality, and customs all over the world. We all want clean water, air and food. We all want our children to have a chance at life, a chance at peace and happiness. Now we have a design approach, with a universal ethical core, that can unify the people. The implications of uniting, formally disconnected peoples under a common cause, are uplifting. Can you see how powerful such a union can be? People healing landscapes, communities and themselves by being part of something bigger; a global movement towards regeneration that you can be a part of, starting in your own backyard. It is this power, that transforms people.

Permaculture is More Than Just a Design Science

In our courses, we consistently witness students transform. They are inspired and feel more connected. They feel part of a community of caring individuals, all from different lifestyles and cultures. They feel part of a world wide movement towards positive change. They leave with hope, infectious passion and sometimes a type of spiritual awakening. Healing and release happens.
For this reason, I say, that Permaculture is more than just science. Many permaculture folks donʼt want the word spiritual mixed up with permaculture. They are afraid it will discredit it and make it seem New Age like. To brand it as only a design science does it a disservice. I have never known a science with ethics at itʼs core, rather than just a side note.
As permaculture educators we do not teach spirituality. We teach design, encourage connection to nature, self and community and create a safe space for our participants to share, but the effects can be profound. Spirituality can be any meaningful activity that contributes to a personal transformation. For those whom the ethics align with their personal morals, permaculture can be an expression of the love they have and a way to serve, thus a part of their spiritual path.
Permaculture is just one of many tools and approaches we can, and should, use. It is a new perspective, a way of seeing how our actions effect the world. Permaculture is a way to design ourselves and our lives to benefit the whole. Itʼs how I live my life and is part of my spirituality.





Guest blog by Anne-Marie Culhane...


This blog includes notes from an interview in 2006 and includes more up to date reflections on performance in relation to environmental campaigning and wider issues around agricultural cycles, ritual and seed. It relates to a performance thread in my work that started in 2005 with the Corn Dollies performance at the House of Commons which took place with three other performers. It is leading to a new series of masks for performance being made in 2013/14. The first two masks were made for the Castlefield Gallery, Manchester and during a residency at Newlyn Gallery, Newlyn, Penzance in 2013.

One of my interests is in activist performance without words - in the body as a communicative tool and with an intelligence and language of its own. The animate non-human world has no words and we are in communication with it all the time - for example when I meet an animal for example a deer in the wild I am most likely to attempt to communicate through small movements, sounds, breath, perhaps mirroring.

In relation to wordless communication, I find this quote (below) raises some interesting questions. Perhaps the successful verbal expression of these relationships and encounters requires extreme mastery of language or new kinds of writing (see Dark Mountain project).

Our feelings of attachment for the natural world are for nonhuman creatures and for places. The anxiety we feel is not merely for the destruction of human lives but also for those other creatures and places, and for a world in which we would be at home.

Not only are these other beings and life forms not human, they are without human language. This means that our relation to the natural world is in some important way nonverbal and unspoken. We may speak to other human beings or to ourselves about our encounter with the natural world, but the encounter itself does not transpire in the medium of human language. Does this mean that to speak about that encounter is to objectify it rather than to express our experience directly? How indeed do I express and live my relatedness to the nonhuman? …Does speech belong to a different self than the one that relates to the natural world?

The love of nature and the end of the world, p19, Shierry Weber Nicholsen

Field Sensing is a phrase I have borrowed from writer/poet Gary Snyder and use as a way of describing a way of moving through different environments and landscapes in order to feel as much as possible part of the animate system that I am passing through. It involves continuous extremely slow forward motion , being in close contact with the ground (ideally with bare feet) and being actively attentive to inner and outer worlds. I’ve delivered a number of participatory Field Sensing events, including one at the Dark Mountain Festival this year and others on Bodmin Moor. I created a video installation TimeFrame for the National Media Museum in Bradford with Bob Levene in 2012 which involved training an international sprint athlete, Leon Baptiste how to move his body in this completely different way. You can find more about these works on my website.



Quite often I am or we (when I’m collaborating) are feeling around for new forms and structures for performance that are on the edges of ritual, ceremony, improvised movement, happenings and participation. My experience is that there is a definite hunger for meaningful ritual and ceremony and this is about (re)discovering or finding symbols, patterns and imagery that resonate for people, now, in 2013. Prior to making the Corn Dollies performance work in 2005, I had been working at Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth in various campaigning roles. I was surprised by the conservatism and lack of vision in promoting and supporting artists through performance and creative activism to engage and inspire the public on many different levels. Although perhaps, the autonomy of activist performances is a positive thing – the performers surface and disappear and no one is quite sure who they are, there is is still considerable scope to harness artists and performers to involve people in creative activism and heartfelt protest in more life affirming and effective ways for both participants and observers.

My relationship with the world around me informs my performance work. This was influenced by growing up on the edge of a village facing onto a farm, studying geography at university, spending time on my own and living in different physical environments urban and rural. When I was studying geography in 1991 I became so completely overwhelmed by the information I was reading and images I was confronted with about global warming, pollution, damage to the ecosystem etc that I blanked out this information for a while and went into a state of paralysis rather than denial. I changed studies to History of Art and subsequently set up a gallery and venue that had an interdisciplinary but not environmental focus. It was only several years later that I felt I had the courage and the skills, as an artist, to respond to the feelings of despair, pain, sorrow and anger that I was feeling in relation to the damaged ecosystem and the deepening ecological crisis, and articulate and transform these into something else. Joanna Macy, eco philosopher gives a very lucid and empathic analysis of different forms of denial, despair and apathy and ways of transforming these emotions to create a more life-sustaining world.

Corn Dollies Performance 2005, House of Commons

What was the structure of the performance?

The structure was an improvisation based around 5 very simple set movement phrases. None of the timing or order of the structures were pre-determined. In this way we could respond to the places we found ourselves in and respond as and when we felt appropriate. The structure involved slow processional walking to the Houses of Parliament from the gathering place, and then performing in front of the House of Commons and the queues waiting to go in to parliament.

What form did the piece take?

The processional aspect is informed by a Butoh walking exercise (see Field Sensing above). We were intentionally creating our own rhythm and time frame. The scores we created, are simple group dance structures ie two performers forming archways for the others to walk under or joining right hands in a star and moving clockwise holding gloved hands. These gave the group a unity, simplicity and coherence in a frenetic environment of tourists and people rushing to work - the push and pull of human traffic. The Corn Dollies used physical cues rather than words to communicate with each other.

What was the relationship between performers and spectators?

The four performers were wearing masks made of wheat straw that the spectators could not see through (but we were inhaling the sweet smell of ripe corn while looking out on a February blizzard). Many spectators looked directly at the mask as if trying to meet an invisible gaze. Others looked away and consciously attempted to ignore their presence. Some audience approached the Corn Dollies and spoke or whispered comments into the masks.


What was the significance of the corn dollies costumes and how did you incorporate traditional harvest rituals in the performance?

The Corn Dollies’ costumes are inspired by Corn Dolly making and traditional harvest rituals from the UK. I was lucky to learn from Dorothy Horsfall, a corn dolly and straw craft ‘veteran’ (now deceased). I was assisted in my research by Caitlin de Silvey, one of the performers and a Geography lecturer now at Exeter University. Our reading unearthed a large number of references to Corn Dolly rituals and also some scepticism as to their prevalence. Some of the most fascinating interpretations relate to ‘crying the neck’ that involved the last sheaf of corn to be harvested. The last sheaf cut was believed to contain the spirit of the corn god or goddess and therefore people were often afraid of its power. Some threw their sickles at the sheaf to cut it and keep a distance. Once harvested, it was this corn that formed the Corn Dolly which had various manifestations from small human-based forms to more varied plaited and woven decorative shapes. These were hung in the home symbolising the spirit of the corn and the cycling of the energy through winter into Spring. There are accounts that the corn dollies were buried or ploughed back in to the earth in Spring or fed to animals to ensure a good, new crop. There are a huge number of regional variations in the customs and stories and many references across the globe to very similar rituals and customs involving other important crops. From this research the main themes emerging were: the importance of marking the end of the harvest; respecting the cycle of seasons; the symbolic retaining and protection of the seed and its fertility and the autonomy of the farmer and his role in preserving the genetic strain inherent to the locale.

Making Corn Masks and Corn Dollies involves manual labour working with simple materials from the land. These votives were mostly made by agricultural workers and often males. Wheat is a cultivated wild grass that formed the basis of civilisation due to its ability to self pollinate and store well. Trade is world wheat is still greater than for all other crops combined and it was the second most produce cereal in 2009.

You can only make Corn Dollies with older, more specialist strains of wheat straw which have longer hollow stems. These are now quite difficult to come by. Maris Widgeon, Squareheads Master are two such varieties (such as are used for thatching National Trust properties). Weaving the wheat straw is endlessly rewarding and pretty addictive! There are so many different plaits and patterns and the possibility of trying new forms.

The New Masks

Each mask is unique and evolves in the process of its making. The new series will be displayed prior to performance. As yet the locations for the new performances are undecided. They will be in response to actions, events, festivals and locations that feel appropriate. The forms of the new set of performances will be site and event specific.

The Corn Dolly masks are buried in the ground after the performance. During the making of each heads I am aware that its return to the earth is an integral part of its life.


Anne-Marie Culhane lives in the South West of England and designs and delivers events, performances and projects that explore our place in the more than human world. She work with visual arts, installation, performance, film, text and food and has exhibited, performed and undertaken residencies in UK, Europe and Asia. Recent work includes an artist residency at Tamar Valley AONB (Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty) as part of the European Funded Cordiale project and Eat Your Campus/Fruit Routes projects at Loughborough University and Exeter University Campus’s. She draws inspiration from the cycles of nature and seasons; permaculture (learning from natural systems); environmental and ecological concerns or questions and listening and responding to people, landscapes and particular sites (urban or rural).

Anne-Marie creates work that encourages people to sense again their own intuitions. addition to being a visual artist and maker, she is a choreographer, creating scores and situations for sometimes large numbers of people to live in often over extended durations. Her work is necessarily communal – a word that describes her relationships with her audiences, associates, and human and non-human collaborators. Part of her gift as an artist lies in her ability to welcome others into the work. She brings people together into affirmative ways of living by setting in motion dynamic frames of ecology and connection. - Wayne Hill, producer & associate editor Performance Research






Guest blog by Frances Moore Lappé...

Break the Ban: Tell a Solutions Story Today!
"If it bleeds, it leads"... ever hear that maxim of journalism? If you want readers, go with the scary, gruesome story -- that's what gets hearts pumping and grabs attention. Yeah, but what grabs our attention can also scare the heck out of us and shut us down.
Scary news might "sell," but we can also feel so bombarded with the negative that our "why-bother" reflex kicks in. Fear stimuli go straight to the brain's amygdala, Harvard Medical School's Srinivasan Pillay explains. But, he adds "because hope seems to travel in the same dungeons [parts of the brain] as fear, it might be a good soldier to employ if we want to meet fear."

So let's get better at using hope. It's a free energy source.
2013-05-09-sunthroughhand.JPGHope isn't blind optimism. It's a sense of possibility -- delight in the new and joy in creativity that characterizes our species. So, let's break the good-news ban and become storytellers about real breakthroughs. (Below, don't miss our top ten go-to's.) I'm convinced that, in the process, we strengthen -- as we must -- our capacity to incorporate and act on the bad news as well.
After all, it's only in changing the small stories that we change the big, dangerous story -- the myth of our own powerlessness. Remember, what we do and say doesn't just influence our friends, but also our friends' friends and our friends' friends' friends. Yes, three layers out, research shows.
That's power! Besides, it's a great way to start the day. Here are some recent items that have "made my day."
Renewables ramping up. With news of Keystone and tar sands and coal-crazy China, it's easy to think that renewable energy is going nowhere, but we'd be so wrong. Between 2008 and 2012, the U.S. nearly doubled its renewables capacity. And in the first three months of this year, 82 percent of newly installed domestic electricity-generating capacity was renewable. Plus, installed capacity of new solar units during the first quarter of this year is more than double that of same period last year.
Globally, thirteen countries now get 30 percent or more of their electricity from renewable sources. And Germany -- with cloud cover worse than Alaska's -- gets 21 percent of its electricity from renewables. In 2010, Germany -- slightly smaller in size than Montana -- produced about half the world's solar energy. That could depress you, or, it could remind us of the vastness of untapped potential. In April, at the first Pathways to 100% Renewables conference in San Francisco, I heard scientists declare that there's absolutely no technical obstacle to our planet's reaching 100 percent renewable energy in a few decades.
Abetting the process, the cost of renewables is plummeting worldwide -- that of electricity from large solar power plants fell by more than half, from $0.31 per kilowatt-hour in 2009 to $0.14 in 2012.
Wind wows. Denmark's wind energy alone provides about 30 percent of the country's electricity, making it the world leader ranked by the share of a country's electricity that wind power provides. And U.S. wind power? We're second only to China among the world's wind energy producers, with wind power equal to about 10 nuclear power stations or 40 coal-fired power stations.
Growing up in oil-centric Texas, I would have been the last person to predict my home state's leadership. But in the 1990s eight utility companies brought groups of citizens together to learn and to think through options. By the end of the process, they'd ranked efficiency higher than when they began, and the share of those willing to pay for renewables and conservation increased by more than 60 percent. Apparently, the utility companies listened: If Texas were a country, it would now be the world's sixth ranking wind energy producer.
Cities, states, countries pledge to go clean: Eight countries, 42 cities, and 48 regions have shifted, or are committed to shifting within the next few decades, to 100 percent renewable energy in at least one sector, e.g. electricity, transportation, heating/cooling. In California, San Francisco, Lancaster, and San José have officially set their goal at 100 percent renewable electricity within the next decade. And if you're thinking, "Oh yeah, that's just California": Greensburg, Kan., set its goal at 100 percent renewable power for all sectors after the town was wiped out by a tornado in 2007.
In Colorado, the state's target is 30 percent renewable electricity by 2020, a standard that's helped spur success -- especially when it comes to wind. And Vermont's energy plan is set to get the state to 90 percent renewable energy in all sectors by mid-century.
And whole countries? Iceland already gets 100 percent of its electricity from renewables -- three-quarters from large hydro and 25 percent from geothermal. In Costa Rica, it's about 95 percent -- mainly from hydroelectric (which it's working to diversify), along with wind, biomass, and geothermal. Costa Rica's sights are set on becoming the world's first carbon-neutral country in time for its 2021 bicentennial. Absorbing more carbon will speed it along, so Costa Rica's forestry-financing agency is working with landowners to plant 7 million trees on cattle and coffee farms in the next few years.
Monaco, Norway, New Zealand, and Iceland are also shooting to become the first carbon-neutral country. And Ethiopia unveiled plans to become a middle-income carbon-neutral country by 2025.
Citizens clobber coal. Just since 2005, as part of Sierra Club's Beyond Coal Campaign, citizens across the country have stopped more than 165 coal plants from opening and successfully pushed for the retirement of more than 100 existing ones. The campaign aims to retire one third of America's remaining 500 coal plants by 2020. And if you're not registering how important this is, consider that coal accounts for more than a third of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions.
Forests forever. In India, ten million families take part in roughly 100,000 "forest-management groups" responsible for protecting nearby woodlands. Motivation is high, especially for women, because firewood still provides three-fourths of the energy used in cooking. Working collaboratively with the Indian government, these groups cover a fifth of India's forests; and they're likely a reason that India is the few countries in the world to enjoy an increase in forest cover since 2005.
And if you are not excited yet? Try just two final tales:
Close to home: Four years ago in Magnolia Springs, Ala., the conservative town government passed the toughest land regulation in the south. It's spending a quarter million dollars on a comprehensive plan to restore and protect its charming river from agricultural chemical runoff. "I'm a tree hugging, liberal -- I mean a tree-hugging conservative Republican! Which I know some people may say is an oxymoron," said Mayor Charlie Houser of this small town near Mobile. Brown pelicans are showing up again, says Houser, and he adds: "Cormorants up in the treetops... Beautiful site!"
Around the world: Three-fourths of Niger is desert, and news headlines focus on hunger there. But over two decades, poor farmers in the country's south have "regreened" 12.5 million desolate acres. In all, Niger farmers have nurtured the growth of some 200 million trees -- discovering that trees and crops are not competitors but are complementary. The trees protect the soil, bringing big crop-yield increases, and they provide fruit, nutritious leaves, fodder, and firewood. Now young people are returning to villages in Niger, and school kids are learning to care for the trees, too.
Are you willing to step up as a solutions-news ban breaker?
Neuroscientists tell us our brains are "plastic," with new neuronal connections being created all the time, forming new "streambeds" in our brains that shape our responses to life. So, isn't actively choosing what shapes our brains perhaps the most powerful ways to change ourselves, enabling us to change the world?
Facing unprecedented challenges, we can choose to remain open to possibility and creativity -- not mired in despair. Surely, the latter is a luxury that none can afford. We can create and enthusiastically share a solutions story today, every day. It is a Revolutionary Act.


Frances Moore Lappé is the author or co-author of 18 books including the three-million copy Diet for a Small Planet. Her most recent work, released by Nation Books in September 2011, is EcoMind: Changing the Way We Think to Create the World We Want, winner of a silver medal from the Independent Publisher Book Awards in the Environment/Ecology/Nature category. Jane Goodall called the book "powerful and inspiring. “Ecomind will open your eyes and change your thinking. I want everyone to read it," she said. She is the cofounder of three organizations, including Oakland based think tank Food First and, more recently, the Small Planet Institute, a collaborative network for research and popular education seeking to bring democracy to life, which she leads with her daughter Anna Lappé. Frances and her daughter have also cofounded the Small Planet Fund, which channels resources to democratic social movements worldwide.

 Frances makes frequent media appearances, including on the Today Show, Hardball with Chris Matthews, Fox News’ Fox & Friends,, The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation’s ‘The National’, Frost Over the World, NPR, and the BBC, among other newsoutlets.

In 1987 Frances received the Right Livelihood Award (considered an “Alternative Nobel”) “for revealing the political and economic causes of world hunger and how citizens can help to remedy them.” Her first book, Diet for a Small Planet, has sold three million copies and is considered “the blueprint for eating with a small carbon footprint since long before the term was coined,” wrote J.M. Hirsch, Associated Press. In 2008 Diet for a Small Planet was selected as one of 75 Books by Women Whose Words Have Changed the World by members of the Women’s National Book Association in observance of its 75th anniversary and was named by Gourmet Magazine as one of 25 people (including Thomas Jefferson, Upton Sinclair, and Julia Child), whose work has changed the way America eats.

Previous to EcoMind, Frances released Getting a Grip 2: Clarity, Creativity and Courage for the World We Really Want, a thorough revision of Getting a Grip: Clarity, Creativity, and Courage in a World Gone Mad, which received the Nautilus Gold/“Best in Small Press” award. In 2008, Getting a Grip along with Diet for a Small Planet were designated as “must reads” for the next U.S. president (by Barbara Kingsolver and Michael Pollan, respectively) in The New York Times Sunday Review of Books. Other recent books include Hope's Edge (written with Anna Lappé), Democracy's Edge, and You Have the Power: Choosing Courage in a Culture of Fear. Lappé’s books have been translated into 15 languages and are used widely in university courses.

Frances has received 18 honorary doctorates from distinguished institutions including The University of Michigan. In 1985, she was a visiting scholar at the Institute for the Study of Social Change, University of California, Berkeley and from 2000 to 2001, at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2008 she received the James Beard Foundation Humanitarian of the Year Award for her lifelong impact on the way people all over the world think about food, nutrition, and agriculture. Other notable awards include the International Studies Association's 2009 Outstanding Public Scholar Award, and in 2011, the Nonino Prize in Italy for her life’s work. In 2007 Frances became a founding member of the World Future Council, based in Hamburg, Germany. Frances also serves on the International Board of Advisors of Grassroots International and on the Value [the] Meal Advisory Board of Corporate Accountability International. She is also a member of the Sisters on the Planet network, part of Oxfam America.

Frances appears frequently as a public speaker and on radio, and is a regular contributor to Huffington Post and Alternet. She is also a contributing editor at Yes! Magazine and Solutions Journal. Articles featuring or written by Frances have also appeared in O: The Oprah Magazine, Harper's, The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Nation, People, and more.




Guest blog by Frankie Sikes...


The unnatural, exploitative and enslaving system that currently preys - vampire-like - upon us has developed some truly horrible methods for extracting our energy. Not content with what we once offered freely, it now methodically drills down into us and, with increasing precision, taps directly into our deep reserves… and all without our consent or permission.

Perhaps to the rapacious system, our consent is either, no longer considered necessary, or is simply assumed. Either way, our decision to expose ourselves - unprotected - to its daily injections leaves us vulnerable to its contamination.

Forced to the surface by a constant injection of fear, toxic imagery, toxic chemicals, toxic foods and toxic activities, our energies are harvested and used for the benefit, it would seem, of the few. Some might argue this is a fair price for all the entertainments, the gadgets and the dreams and promises of corporate consumerism but what is now being revealed is the dreadful pollution this extraction process leaves behind.

I’m sure by now you can see where I am going with this…


The remedy for this fracking of humanity is not to be found in anything the system has to offer, it is to be found in natural exercise, clean air, clean water, wholesome food and in experiencing the silence and synchronous beauty of the natural world. It is my experience that spontaneous cleansing and healing begins as soon as we start to “not do” the things that are harming us. There are many tried and tested ways of supporting this cleansing… too many to mention here but, it is my good fortune and great pleasure to be a facilitator of one of them. Frankie Sikes

Frankie Sikes organises and delivers “Walking in Spirit”, a seven-day, silent walking retreat in the mountains and forests of Somiedo Natural Park, Asturias Spain.

“The retreat allows people to spend extended periods of time settled into a much deeper sense of self as they walk. From that place, they can begin to resonate strongly with the healing vibration of wild nature”

The next retreat takes place September 22nd-28th 2013. Check out the website and facebook page for more information.



Guest blog by June Kent from Indie Shaman...


Indie Shaman is an independent UK based organisation and magazine publisher offering support, information and training on shamanism and on living a shamanic lifestyle.
Indie Shaman is home to a variety of free online resources as well as publishing one of the UK’s leading shamanic magazines full of interesting feature articles from contemporary and established authors in the field of shamanism and spirituality.
To find out more, browse all the information available on our website or subscribe to the Indie Shaman magazine visit

Shamanic Lifestyle 

When Indie Shaman started back in 2006 we expected interest to be mainly from people who were practicing shamanism but soon found individuals joining who were interested in shamanism and in living in accordance to its principles without necessarily wanting to be a practitioner. In order to be inclusive for this broadening interest we began to use the phrase ‘shamanic lifestyle’.

Since then many people have defined a shamanic lifestyle for themselves on other websites but what did we mean when we first discussed the phrase?

The term ‘lifestyle’ itself simply means the way in which a person lives. Many people interpret it to be related to consumerism i.e. what people buy, but its meaning encompasses far more than that. A person’s lifestyle typically reflects their attitudes, values and all the choices they make as well as the factors that influence their choices such as where they live and the society in which they live.

Regarding the relevance of shamanism on lifestyle, looking back at my old unfinished articles I found one that began …

In recent years many people have been attracted to shamanism. While there are many discussions on whether the contemporary interest in shamanism is as valid as indigenous shamanism, it may be more useful to simply accept in the best principles of shamanism that ‘it is happening’. It may indeed be that as the world struggles with the repercussions of humankind’s development this resurgence in interest is exactly what the world needs.

Not everyone will have the inclination to work as a shaman or shamanic practitioner… It is our belief that you do not have to practice shamanism to apply shamanic beliefs and principles to your own life.

So assuming you agree how can we define these principles and how are they relevant to your life?

You may find the principles of shamanism listed as journeying, working with guides and understanding the realms of the Otherworld. These are not principles but practices. However as I remember from studying Community Work way-back-whenever-it-was every practice is underpinned by a principle, therefore when considering shamanic principles it is useful to first look at practice and what beliefs and principles underpin those practices.

A shaman’s practice is characterised by walking in both worlds, freeing their spirit energy from the body to seek out healing or knowledge, in order to help others in their community. Without a community you do not have a shaman, indeed it is the community that names a shaman.

In shamanism everything has a life force or spirit and we are surrounded by that energy all the time. Spirit is not separate from what we do but a part of everything we do. All of existence is interconnected. Our actions affect it and its actions affect us. To work with our landscapes and community a shaman must have a respect for their environment together with a belief that everything in it is an equally important being.

Shaman work with spirit guides and the relationship a shaman has with her or his guides is one of communication and co-operation. While shaman have great respect for their ancestors the relationship between shaman and ancestor, guide or helper is truly a relationship, a joint venture.

In the Otherworld a shaman must be true to themselves and who they really are. There can be no pretence. So a shaman must first learn to face themselves and learn about themselves before they can approach the Otherworld. They must have both the confidence and the humility to be who they really are.

In working in the Otherworld and the physical world a shaman works with what she or he experiences. What they experience is real. There are no limits to what they can perceive as real and they have faith and trust in their own experiences.

So if we look at all of the above we can come up with a list of contemporary principles as follows:

1. To accept and respect ourselves.
2. To accept we are all connected.
3. To value diversity and respect all forms of life as equally valuable.
4. Reciprocity – to work toward the mutual benefit of all living things and give and accept willingly.
5. Your own experiences define reality - Serge Kahili King defined this as his first fundamental principle 5. IKE - The World is what you think it is¹.
6. A positive path to a positive outcome - C. Michael Smith Andean Shamanism describes this as Llankay: Right action, such that you do good work and leave a good legacy.[becoming a good ancestor]².

A Shamanic lifestyle can encompass every part of your life. As human beings we often try to over complicate in our search for personal perfection, kicking ourselves when we don’t live up to unrealistic expectations. We are far harder on ourselves than we ever are on other people. Shamanic principles tell us instead to accept ourselves, value ourselves and that it is OK to work with who we are rather than who we think we should be.

The lifestyle of modern society has developed where the goal is consumption and not sustainable. We work to produce an ever expanding new stream of ‘desirable goods’ that we believe will make us happy if we earn enough to own them. This leads to ever increasing industrialization as nation after nation joins in with the accompanying increasing destruction of the environment we need in order to live. Shamanic principles let us know that happiness has nothing to do with the accumulation of money or owning the latest gadget.

If we look back to the Shamanic Principles in the previous list we can consider how we could incorporate these into our own lives and how this would benefit not just ourselves but also our communities and ultimately us all. Here are a few suggestions:

Respect for the environment.
If in shamanism every living thing is of equal value then environmental practices are important to a shamanic lifestyle. (Shamanic Principles 2, 3 and 4).

Practical applications of this could include:
* Shopping ethically wherever possible e.g. buying free range eggs, Fair Trade goods, environmentally friendly goods, and from small crafts people rather than large corporations.
* Having a ‘wild life friendly’ garden.
* ‘Growing your own’ where possible.
* Not dropping litter
* Being as ‘environmentally friendly’ as possible

An awareness of community.
If all of existence is interconnected then it is important that we connect first to add value to our own community. (Shamanic Principles 2, 3 and 4)
* Skills exchanges
* Recycling in our own community (‘swapping’ or Freecycle)
* Talking to our neighbours
* Lending a hand where it’s needed and accepting help when we need it
* Getting together with others to take community action
* Volunteering in our local community (environmental groups – parks, woodlands; local politics – local interest groups, parish councils; community groups

Accepting and respecting ourselves, developing ourselves into the best we can be.
(Shamanic Principle 1)
* Personal development
* Doing what we can and not feeling guilty for what we can’t do
* Looking after ourselves
* Life is for learning
* Valuing who we are
* Valuing what we do

Respecting the diversity within all of existence (Shamanic Principle 3)
* Thinking before we judge or criticize
* Accepting we can all learn from each other
* Not being prejudicial (making assumptions) based on looks, race, lifestyle, religion, gender, age, etc.
* Not killing anything unless it is in defence or because of need (such as for food – you don’t have to be a vegetarian although equally you can be!)

Accepting that our perception can result in change (Shamanic Principle 5)
Two simple examples:

Try this experiment. At the end of the day think back on everything that went wrong or could have gone better. How do you feel?

Now forget that and think back instead on everything that went right. Now how do you feel?

Or consider this – how many smiles do you notice when you are happy? If you smile at people how many smile back?

Shamanic Principle 6
All of the above leads to Shamanic Principle 6 - A positive path to a positive outcome.

©June Kent

For more information on shamanism and on living a shamanic lifestyle please visit

1. Serge Kahili King, Urban Shaman, Simon & Schuster, New York, 1990. ISBN 0-671-68307-
2. C. Michael Smith, Shamanism in the High Andes and the tradition of don Alverto Taxo on the Crow’s Nest Center for Shamanic Studies Blog at Link to specific article in the High Andes and the tradition of Don Alverto Taxo.pdf





Guest blog by Dave Darby from LILI...



About Dave:
Travelled for 5 yrs visiting communities - in Africa, India, Japan, Oz and Europe.
Then joined Redfield community, and lived there for 13 years. We had compost loos, solar hot water, wood stoves, organic gardens, straw bale buildings, used lime, orchards, free-range animals etc.
Together with another redfield member, started LILI in 2001 with 10 courses, including compost loos, permaculture, how to make biodiesel, wind and solar electricity - these courses filled and we started to work in partnership with other organisations - and now we have thousands of courses, books, factsheets, step-by-step guides, products, services, advice on 176 topics.


Everything is one : a blackbird told me

I'm writing this listening to a blackbird singing. Short bursts of song, a different tune every time. The blackbird occasionally drops down to the lawn, pecks around, pulls out a worm and flies off to eat it. The blackbird's droppings feed the grass, which grows and dies and feeds the worms, and the worms pass dead plant matter through themselves to build soil, which supports humans.
The energy contained in the worm's body is changed into energy that the blackbird can do things with - like sing songs. The energy exchange takes place inside the mitochondria that live inside every one of the blackbird's cells. Human cells have mitochondria too. Mitochondria existed as a separate species before there were humans, or blackbirds, or worms.
The blackbird's song transfers energy, information, or whatever it is to me, and I feel inspired to write a blog post to say that it seems to me that everything is connected in one huge, beautiful oneness that some of us call nature, some of us call God, but none of us understand.
There are ways that humans can damage or limit that oneness, at least in this part of the universe. We can, and we are, changing the balance of temperature, toxicity and diversity faster than ecology can adapt to those changes, and so the oneness is degrading, becoming less healthy, less diverse, weaker.
We're part of the oneness before we die, and after we die we remain part of the oneness - just in a different manifestation. If we are cremated we become ash and atmospheric carbon and particulates. If we are embalmed and buried, we poison the soil, the worms and the blackbirds. Either way we help to degrade the oneness.
If we have a green funeral, we are buried without additional toxins, a tree is planted for the blackbirds to sing in, and we reconstitute into the great oneness as worm food. I believe that becoming worm food is a way for us to be part of the soil, plants and blackbirds' songs, and is the best final destination that we as individual humans can aspire to.





This next post is an unusual guest post, 
unusual and special.

It is the work of the renowned magical realist painter
Hawk Alfredson

Hawk's post contains one of his many images
and it also contains a rare piece of his writing.

The post is a glimpse into another world...
a surreal world.


Immortality Sea
Oil on canvas


By Hawk Alfredson

It was not very far away again, like the distance between one thought & another; like an undiscovered cave of slowly gyrating transparent spirals linking & unlinking.
The deep moss green walls of the cave escaped further & further away from the cooling fire. In the center of your hopes it was there again, munching on the wooden floor of poorly organized insects while the emotions stood still in time of the whale’s skull.
It was glistening instead of dead.
Closer than you think was an unthinkable moist of mustard & machine sheen singing swirling smiling.
The lower regions of the whale membrane never forget & never utter a thing.
They never open more than one eye at a time to glimpse at the spirals pressing their leaves tight to the silent fire, roaring the man’s oars, idly slipping underneath the surpane surface of the still cool lake.
Whales never mutter the slobberings humans think they do… never...
But sure enough it came closer that golden night when the halo burnt out in order to multiply itself into forgetfulness.
It was far away as they came closer to the corewhore of God’s most finest, most precious dust collection. Whales would never dream of that but invent it before it took place or possibly not bother which dust collection should go out of style or print first.
But closer it came for the first time; angels in the form of whispers, nowhere in sight.
Polishing the finish of the jaded crystal balls, seeing into them means something to some but nothing to the one who is merely dead yet alive.
Leaving a trail of devoured dawnings for the majestic trees to bleed their blood into the whispering mushroom view of clouds, in-between the lines of the slowly setting sunstroke & the cauliflower angels.
Now insanely out of sight, melting upside down though their hair were kissing absintheminded waterfalls covering the eight holes. Leaving the cave in search for spaeidian space to rest their sunken hollow heads.
Upon awakening the known became the same & the same became ripped & worn.
The whale enters, infiltrating the Strasphererian stratosphere with moldy old dough & diamonds speaking of how thyme leaves when one’s not looking at it, as if you were the proof of it all.
Guess who’s fontanella is in the shape of a shadowy heart? All of this, so the ripping Universes may stretch out on the tightrope & admire it’s pettiness in all of it’s grandiose splendour & enigmatic esoteric shiftings.
The whale cave? The neverending neverbeginning spirals?
No, it keeps coming closer than that.
The tap dancing elf in the attic on the miniature shoebox and the giant sea turtle you once owned now retreat in it’s house underneath the sand counting the stars it collected while you were asleep with the ferriswheel’s lightbulb.
It was not very transparent in the center.
With emotions unthinkable, they glimpsed at the surpane as it came closer than it had ever been before. 





Guest post by Machinima film maker Celestial Elf...

The Bee Myth




Guest post by Rupert Sheldrake...

   Rupert Sheldrake, Ph.D. is a biologist and author of more than 80 scientific papers and 10 books, including The Science Delusion. He was a Fellow of Clare College, Cambridge University, a Research Fellow of the Royal Society, Principal Plant Physiologist at ICRISAT (the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi-Arid Tropics) in Hyderabad, India, and from 2005-2010 the Director of the Perrott-Warrick Project, funded from Trinity College, Cambridge. He is a Fellow of the Institute of Noetic Sciences, Petaluma, California, and a visiting professor at the Graduate Institute in Connecticut.


Rupert Sheldrake

In his book The Lost World of the Kalahari, Sir Laurens van der Post described how bushmen were in telepathic contact over enormous distances. They themselves compared their method of communication to the white man’s telegraph or “wire”.  On one occasion van der Post had been out hunting with a group. As they were heading back in Land-Rovers laden with eland meat, he asked how the people back at the camp would react when they learned of their success.  One of his companions replied, “They already know. They know by wire…. We bushmen have a wire here” – he tapped his chest – “that brings us news.”   Sure enough, when they approached the camp, the people were singing the eland song and preparing to give the hunters the greatest of welcomes.

By contrast, educated people in the West are usually brought up to believe that telepathy does not exist.  Like other so-called psychic phenomena, it is dismissed as an illusion.

Nevertheless, even in modern Britain, most people have had personal experiences that seem telepathic, most frequently in connection with telephones.  For example, Janet Ward, of Budleigh Salterton, told me, "For a long time, I have had a feeling of telepathy with my two daughters whom I am very close to. I start thinking about them just before the phone rings. It happens too with friends. I’m always saying ‘I was just thinking about you’ when I answer the phone to them."

Perceptive pets

Telepathy seems even more common with dogs and cats than with people.  For example, many cat owners have found that their animals seem to sense when they are planning to take them to the vet, even before they have got out the carrying basket or given any apparent clues as to their intention. They disappear.

In the course of several years' research with pets, I heard so many of these stories that I made a survey of all the vets in north London to find out what they had noticed. All but one said people often cancelled appointments because they could not find their cat. The remaining clinic had given up an appointment system for cats because there were so many cancellations; people just had to turn up with their animal.

Some people say their dogs know when they are going to be taken for a walk, even at unusual times, and even when they are in a different room, out of sight and hearing. The dogs detect their owners' intentions, and bound into the room in eager anticipation.

One of the commonest and most testable claims about dogs and cats is that they know when their owners are coming home. In some cases they seem to anticipate their owners' arrivals by ten minutes or more, even at non-routine times, and even when people travel in unfamiliar vehicles.

The dog I have investigated in most detail is a terrier called Jaytee, who belongs to Pam Smart, in Ramsbottom, Greater Manchester.   Pam's family noticed that he seemed to anticipate her returns by going to wait at the window up to 45 minutes before she came home. He started waiting around the time she set off. 

In more than 100 trials, we videotaped the area by the window where Jaytee waited during Pam's absences, providing a continuous, timecoded record of his behaviour.  She went at least five miles away.  To find out if Jaytee was simply reacting to the sound of her car, she returned by train or by taxi. He still knew when she was coming.

Jaytee's reactions were not a matter of routine, but occurred whenever Pam came home at randomly selected times signalled through a telephone pager.  Jaytee behaved in the same way when he was tested repeatedly by sceptics anxious to debunk his abilities. 

The evidence shows that Jaytee was reacting to Pam's intention to come home even when she was miles away. We have since replicated this work with other dogs.  Telepathy seems the only hypothesis that can account for the facts.  (For more details, see my book Dogs that Know When their Owners Are Coming Home, And Other Unexplained Powers of Animals.)

If domestic animals are telepathic with their human owners, then it seems likely that animals are telepathic with each other in the wild, for example within packs of wolves.  Telepathy may have evolved as a means of communication that enables members of animal groups to keep in touch at a distance.

In modern human societies we now have telephones, but telepathy has not gone away.  Someone's intention to make a call often seems to be picked up telepathically before the call itself.

Telephone telepathy

But is apparent telephone telepathy really telepathic? Could there be a more mundane explanation? People may think of others from time to time for no particular reason, and if someone they are thinking of then calls, this may be a matter of chance.  People may simply forget all the times they think of someone who does not ring.

This is a reasonable possibility, but there is no evidence for it. The only way to resolve the question scientifically is by experiment.

I have developed a simple procedure in which subjects receive a call from one of four different callers at a prearranged time.  The subjects nominate the callers themselves, usually close friends or family members. They do not know who will be calling in any given test, because the caller is picked at random by the experimenter by the throw of a die.  Subjects have to guess who the caller is before picking up the receiver.  By chance they would be right about one time in four, or 25 per cent of the time.  In many of these trials, the participants are videotaped continuously to make sure that they do not receive any other telephone calls or emails that could give them any clues.

My colleagues and I have so far conducted more than 800 trials.  The average success rate is 42 per cent, very significantly above the chance level of 25 per cent, with statistical odds against chance of trillions to one. These tests can now be done online through my website, and readers are welcome to try for themselves (

We have also carried out a series of trials in which two of the four callers were familiar, and the other two were strangers, whose names the participants knew, but whom they had not met. With familiar callers, the success rate was more than 50 per cent, highly significant statistically. With strangers it was near the chance level, in agreement with the observation that telepathy typically takes place between people who share emotional or social bonds.

In addition, we have found that these effects do not fall off with distance.  In some of our tests the callers were in Australia or New Zealand, but the subjects identified them just as well as callers nearby.

Unfortunately, in most of their laboratory research on telepathy, parapsychologists have used senders and receivers who are complete strangers, creating poor conditions for success.  With participants who are bonded to each other the results are generally far more impressive.

Telepathy continues to evolve.  One of its latest manifestations is the telepathic email.  People think of someone who shortly afterwards sends them an email. We have done more than 700 tests on email telepathy, following a similar design to the telephone tests, with a success rate of 43 per cent, highly significant statistically. 

We do not yet understand telepathy; but it is unscientific to dismiss it or pretend it doesn't exist.  Only by exploring it can we find out more.  We still have much to learn about the nature of minds, and telepathy offers vital clues.  It implies that we are more interconnected than we usually assume.

Dr Rupert Sheldrake is a biologist and author of more than 80 technical papers and several books, the most recent being The Science Delusion (called Science Set Free in the US). His books are also available in french at

His web site is



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